Diebold Inc. today reported net income of $3.7 million for the first quarter ended March 31, down 76.1% from $15.5 million for the same period last year. Revenues reached $663.1 million, down 4.2% compared with $691.9 million. Thomas Swidarski, the ATM manufacturer's president and CEO, blames the drop in revenue and net income on deteriorating market conditions in the U.S., Russia, Eastern Europe and Australia. As a result, Swidarski told analysts during a conference call this morning that the North Canton, Ohio-based company would reduce its staff by 300 full-time positions and take other measures to cut costs. "This market weakness in orders, which occurred in some of our most profitable business sectors, has forced us to reduce our revenue and earnings expectations for the full year 2009," Swidarski said. Diebold's efforts to venture into Russia and Eastern Europe have collapsed, Swidarski said. "We have taken Russia off the table. We have few orders there, but we expect zero from Russia for the rest of the year," he said, noting Diebold recently sent a team to Russia to study market conditions. The company also faces significant challenges selling ATMs in Australia and to regional banks in the U.S. "The deployment of capital by regional banks remains conservative. They are reluctant to make any capital investments," Swidarski said, adding that applications for new U.S. bank branches have reached 1,500 so far this year compared with 3,000 to 4,000 annually a few years ago.  The company, however, reported good news out of Latin America, particularly Brazil, where ATM sales have grown. China, Thailand and Indonesia also had strong demand for ATM orders, Swidarski said. Diebold's Financial Self-Service Products business, which includes ATMs, reported sales of $239.9 million, up 4.7% compared with $229.1 million for the same three-month period last year.

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